Posted June 10, 2014

Phil Mickelson Changes Putting Grip Two Days Before U.S. Open Begins

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Phil Mickelson lines up a putt last week in Memphis. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Phil Mickelson lines up a putt last week in Memphis. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Pinehurst, N.C. — Phil Mickelson is a constant tinkerer. Whether it’s two drivers, a souped-up three wood or five wedges, Mickelson isn’t afraid to alter the composition of his bag at a moment’s notice.

This time, he’s changing something different: his putting grip. Mickelson will be using the claw grip in an effort to make more short putts on Pinehurst No. 2’s tricky greens.

The claw, said Phil in his Tuesday press conference, will create a “little bit lighter grip pressure and create a softer roll so that I get some of the hit out of it. I was running them way by last week and by taking my bottom hand off the putter, it eliminates some of that hit allowing me to kind of roll the ball softly into the hole.”

PHOTO GALLERY: A guide to the claw and other putter grips

Not that he’s completely sold on the claw. True to form, Mickelson was already talking about changing back to his regular grip.

“I want to create more of a brush stroke, so that’s why we have kind of gone to this grip. But if something changes this week and I feel better with the regular grip — gosh, I putted great in the past with it. I may do it. It may be a spur-of-the-moment thing. I don’t know. But right now the game plan is X, but it can certainly become Y in a matter of minutes.”

PHOTO GALLERY: The 100 greatest Phil Mickelson Photos

Hopefully, Mickelson will learn from past mishaps. Mickelson recounted the 2002 U.S. Open where he replaced his entire set of irons after the first round at Bethpage Black and struggled to find correct yardages the rest of the tournament.

“You’ve got to take some risks sometimes,” Mickelson said. “I’ve won Majors with two drivers, with one driver, and with no drivers. I’ve also lost some tournaments because of this. You have to be willing to take risks and be accountable. I feel like right now, after talking with Dave (Stockton) this morning, we kind of had a brief conversation before we started putting. What’s going to give me the best chance to putt these greens well? And this is what we came up with. So if I take the wrong club, if I try to claw, if I put in a couple drivers or no drivers and it doesn’t work out, I’m able to — I’m fine with dealing with my own bad decisions.”

LEADERBOARD: Follow the U.S. Open live here

Mickelson used the claw grip in the final round of last week’s FedEx St. Jude and shot an even-par 72. He tees off at 7:51 a.m. Thursday with defending champion Justin Rose and Matthew Fitzpatrick.

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33 comments
Effjay
Effjay

Where is all this 'I think phil is a phony" stuff coming from? I'm not seeing it. He is who he is.

euro_fellow
euro_fellow

Who the heck cares. I just like to watch his alternative style. As for his person - as many of the other posters here - I think he's a phony (tax complaints and insider trading didn't help either), but heck he is fun to watch on the course.

Tim Cleary
Tim Cleary

A phony! Have you not heard of the Hall of Fame

macer
macer

What will Phil do next?

Isidro Garcia
Isidro Garcia

I always thought he was a phony. That said, I've always loved his style of play. Phil makes it work for him.

Frank DeMaio
Frank DeMaio

when you are playing as bad as Phil has you'll try anything....

Kathy Nelson
Kathy Nelson

That's up to him & his caddy. He knows his game better than us.

Joe Mariano
Joe Mariano

Love all the above critique from you 25+ handicappers. Im thinking phil knows better than us. Just spit balln though.

W Tyrone Green
W Tyrone Green

I agree with Melissa Brown.....Phil has turned me off for some reason.....does seem phony....will be surprised if he even competes at the US Open.

Keith Panco
Keith Panco

This man is a hall of famer, having accomplished more than only a handful of golfers can even dream of. If he showed up to play with garden tools, who are we to judge his game?

couplesgolfclub
couplesgolfclub

Phil should remember what Dave Stockton said to him when Phil sought David's putting help a while ago.




Kelly Steele Heller
Kelly Steele Heller

The Claw is awesome !!!!! And it's better than the long putter that Adam Scott can't bear to get rid if yet ..... Bet he will claw ..... Go Phil Go ...Go Spurs Go !!!!!!

Mike Dossey
Mike Dossey

Seems he never learned golf 01 always dance with the one who brung you

Melissa Brown
Melissa Brown

I used to really like Mickelson. Lately tough I'm feeling like he's a phony and I don't like him any more. (nothing to do with the insider trading thing)

Matt Nelson
Matt Nelson

He's gonna catch some lightning in a bottle and putt lights out

Gerald L. Brennan
Gerald L. Brennan

what ever work phil go with our gut feeling. rooting for you. it's your time been to long without victory!!!!!

acerker
acerker

@macer content at the US open opposed to wathing it on TV like tiger

macer
macer

Frank DeMaio,

Will the Woverine football team try anything?

macer
macer

Go Adam! Go Heat!

stephen.goldschmidt
stephen.goldschmidt

why? It has worked for Sergio. He had a resurgence after going claw. Better than a broomstick and actually a very easy way to roll a putt

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